Friday, 2 March 2018

Barry Gem- Tim Chapman article

Sully Hospital – a forgotten story no more

Local People
Tim Chapman
by Tim Chapman - GEM Reporter

A Welsh author has written an evocative memoir about Sully hospital

Ann Shaw spend six months there in 1960 recovering from tuberculosis.
Her stay at the hospital was at a time when there was still a very real fear that TB could be fatal.
She said: “I decided that it was time to write about Sully – after all I had kept the diaries of my time there and I had the time for the project.
“Coming from a farm near Crickhowell, it was a revelation to be thrown into the hectic life of Sully at that time.”
As a young child she had spent four years at a children’s sanatorium in the Swansea valley. 
Ann wrote a book called ‘The Children of Craig-y-nos’ which was short-listed for a national medical award, and she appeared on the BBC ‘One Show’ talking about her time there.
After her spell near Swansea as a youngster, she returned home, only to suffer a relapse years later which led to her stay at Sully when she was 19.
She explained that there was a huge contrast between the two hospitals.
“Craig-y-nos was very hard, austere and bleak. Sully was warm, modern and had all the latest stuff.”
Ann had a huge response to her book on Craig-y-nos, and hopes the same will be true of ‘Searching for Sully – Our stories’ which also includes anecdotes from other people who knew the hospital well.
“Sully was a model hospital of its time – innovative and pioneering. It is a story that has not been recorded in social history.”
The historian and journalist Chris Holme has described Ann’s latest book as “a fascinating insight into life and death at a TB hospital in south Wales from a patient’s perspective. At times hilarious, poignant and shocking, but compelling throughout”.
Anne believes the ground-breaking medical work carried out in Sully would make a fascinating subject for a PhD student to record.
She now lives in Scotland, having retired after a career in journalism, latterly on the Glasgow Herald.
“If any GEM readers have connections with Sully Hospital, I am happy to give away six free copies to the first six people who either email me at or text me on 07543 671 260.
“All I ask is that they tell me a little about their connection so that I can mention it in my blog.”
Ann’s book is available at Amazon, as a paperback, price £9.99. It can also be obtained by request at Barry Library.
Her Sully blog is at
Caption: Ann returned to Sully a few years ago to do research and was taken on a tour of the building. She said: “The show flat turned out to be my old ward! At least I am pretty certain it was the one, though it had changed so much.”

"Searching for Sully- our stories" Ann Shaw, paperback £9.99, available from Amazon

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